Foul Pages

20 Feb - 17 Mar 2018
The Hope Theatre
Matthew Parker’s production matches the exuberance of the script, with excellent performances all round
Sunday Express

“We’re going to get it up the arse by the future King of England…
Thank God we rehearsed.”

It’s 1603, the plague is ravaging London, scattering the court to the rural countryside of Wiltshire and delaying the coronation of the soon to be King James I. In this outrageous comedy, while actors rehearse, despite backstage squabbles and sexual politics, Shakespeare and the Countess of Pembroke struggle with the rewrites of ‘As You Like it’ which must appeal to the new king’s merciful nature and seduce him into releasing the condemned Sir Walter Raleigh. A fruity farce full of scandalous secrets, backstage betrayals and lusty liaisons. You think you know your Shakespeare?… Think again!

Following five critically acclaimed and award-winning in-house productions, The Hope Theatre (Fringe Theatre of the Year nominee, The Stage Awards 2016) presents the world premiere of FOUL PAGES by Robin Hooper (Ex Literary Manager of the Royal Court and Paines Plough). Directed by Matthew Parker; The Hope’s OFFIE Award winning Artistic Director, it follows Matthew’s hugely successful ★★★★★ productions of LOVESONG OF THE ELECTRIC BEAR (winner of 2 OFFIE Awards; transferred to West End 2015), SEA LIFE (4 OFFIE Award nominations), STEEL MAGNOLIAS (Winner of 2 Break A Leg Critics Choice Awards inc Best Off West End Production), HER ACHING HEART (Best Play, Spy In The Stalls Awards and 3 OFFIE Award nominations) and BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE (2 OFFIE Award nominations and 3 Break A Leg Nominations).


  • Mary: Clare Bloomer
  • Peg: Olivia Onyehara
  • Chop: James King
  • Alex: Lewis Chandler
  • Rob: Thomas Bird
  • Will: Ian Hallard
  • Ed: Greg Baxter
  • James: Tom Vanson
  • Mears: Jack Harding


  • Writer: Robin Hooper
  • Director: Matthew Parker
  • Producers: Benjamin Alborough & Anthony Orme for The Hope Theatre
  • Designer: Rachael Ryan
  • Sound Designer: Paul Freeman
  • Lighting Designer: Ben Jacobs
  • Stage Manager: Freya Jefferies
  • Assistant Director: Kennedy Bloomer
  • Production Assistant: Rob Ellis

Matthew Parker directs with panache and pace. The energy is high and maintained by snatches of thumping electronica and the action never lets up

IThankyou Theatre

Matthew Parker draws us convincingly into this world, guiding us across unsteady ground with always a firm grip on the entertainment, each individual section deftly struck.

Entertainment Views

Hooper's script and Parker's rambunctious direction deliver a justly over-the-top and fun-filled piece of theatre.

Broadway World UK

This is an unusual piece but director Matthew Parker has ensured that there are equal amounts of style and substance – both found here in abundance.

Gay Times

The comedic timing all round is on point, and Parker’s direction shows invention, and a great respect for the writer’s material.

London Pub Theatres

Matthew Parker's fluent direction achieves winning characterisations from a hard-working cast

Act Drop

The action is well-paced, with director Matthew Parker making it easy to follow what's going on and stay lost in the moment. The script shifts between so many different twists and turns that his skilful direction is required to smooth them all out.

Views From The Gods

Passionate direction by Matthew Parker

Boyz Magazine